Ammachi’s Easy Meen (fish) mulaku curry

Ingredients:

Fish – 2 pound  (1 Kg, Cut into small 1 inch pieces)
Fenugreek Seed – 15
Ginger chopped – 1 inch piece
Garlic chopped – 8
Green chillies chopped – 4-5 chillies
Kudam puli – 2-3 pieces (aka. Dried Garcinia gummigutta/Malabar tamarind)
Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped. (If you have small onion/shallots, take just that, -or- some of that, and half onion)
Curry Leaf – 10-12

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add fenugreek seeds and cook until golden brown.
  • Add Chopped onion to the oil and Sauté  until it is very soft and golden brown.
  • Add 2 tsp’s of chili powder + 3 tsp of Kashmir chili + 1/4 tspn turmeric, and continue sautéing.   Take it off the stove and allow  it to cool.
  • Grind above mixture with water once it cools down. Add enough water while grinding to get your desired consistency of fish curry.
  • Heat oil in a Meen chatti (earthenware) or a deep pan, and Sauté finely chopped Ginger and curry leaf.  Then add chopped garlic and chopped green chillies. Continue sautéing.
  •  Pour the ground mixture to the pan, add Kudam puli 2-3 pieces, and mix well.  Once it boils add fish and allow it to boil for 3-4 mts. Then lower heat and simmer it for 20-30mts.  Add some more curry leaf at the end, and turn the heat off. (Optional: You can add 1  tbspn of coconut oil at the end while adding curry leaf)

Priti’s Tandoori Style Chicken with thick gravy.

This is a very tasty variation of Tandoori chicken with thick gravy. Goes very well with Porotta, Pulav, Ghee Rice, Naan etc.

Cleaned Chicken Leg Quarters – 10     (Cut each leg quarter into two (thigh and leg), and make narrow long cuts on the meat for the flavor/masala to go in)

Drain all water from chicken and remove any excess water with a paper towel.

Prepare Marinade

Rajah Tandoori Masala – 3 tablespoon
Roopak Mughals chicken masala – 1 Tspn
Chilli powder – 1tspn
Kashmiri chili – 1.5 Tspn
Plain Greek yogurt  – 3.5 cups
Lemon juice squeezed –  from 1 whole lemon
Salt – to taste
Paste from -> Ginger (2 inch piece), garlic (12 cloves), whole black pepper (15), and small green chili (5)
Oil – 8 Tspn  (I used olive. Any oil like Canola/vegetable oil is fine)
Red color – a pinch (very little, optional for appearance)
Garam Masala – 1 tspn
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Marinate chicken with the marinade above, and mix it well (1-2 minutes) by hand. Cover well, and Refrigerate overnight.

Preparation

Preheat Oven to 350 F. Temperatures here is for my oven. Adjust it, if needed, depending on your oven conditions.

Take chicken with marinade from the refrigerator and add 1/2 tsp meat tenderizer, and mix well, and keep it outside at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Take a flat baking dish (at least 1 inch deep). Lay chicken pieces on it (one layer), with some gap between the pieces. Using a big spoon pour the marinade in between chicken pieces. (I had to use two 9 X 11 dishes for 10 leg quarters).

Cover with Aluminium foil, and make some small cuts on the foil for breathing.
Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes.
After 30minutes, Change temperature to 425F.

Open oven, Turn chicken over, then cover again,  Bake again at 425 for 30 minutes.
Open oven, Turn chicken over again, then bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 425.

Optional: You can make Red onion slices and garnish and broil at High for 5 minutes. Carefully watch this step, as this can burn everything depending on your Oven. Stop immediately and open oven if you see signs of burning.

Quick and Easy Fish Tacos

Breaded tilapia fillets (I buy Costco ones, heat it up in conventional/toaster oven and cut to small pieces to add to tacos)

Tortillas (fajita size) – I prefer corn tortillas, heated on a pan.

For the cabbage slaw:

3 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 red onion, finely chopped (skip if you don’t like onion taste)
1 cup carrot, shredded
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp chopped jalapenos/green chili (more if you want spicy)
1/2 cup tartar sauce.
1/4 cup honey
Juice from 1/2 lime

Heat the cabbage in a microwave for couple of minutes (2-3 mts) for it to just warm up a bit. Raw cabbage won’t agree with my tummy, and this is a way for it to be cooked little bit, still maintaining most of the crispiness.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, and all the ingredients for the slaw above.

To assemble the tacos, place couple of pieces of fish on each tortilla and top with the slaw. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro leaves, and/or chopped green chili/jalapeno Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Priti’s Yummy Chilli Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken tenderloin – 3 pounds
  • Veggies for the Sauce:
    • Celery Chopped – 2-3 Sticks
    • Green  and Red Pepper chopped – 1 cup
    • Chopped Jalapeno – 2-3
  • Sauce
    • Tomato sauce (canned is OK too) – .5 cup
    • vinegar -1tspn
    • Maggi masala chili sauce – 2tbspn,
    • Ketchup – 2tbspn
    • Miracle Manchurian Mix from Indian Store – 1 tbspn
    • MSG – 2-3 pinches
    • Red chilli pwdr – to your taste
    • Chicken Broth – just enough to make the sauce to your desired consistency.
Note: Some ingredients are listed in the directions, and not in the ingredients list above. Also, add spices/chilli for your desired taste.  MSG is optional, but helps with the taste. This dish can also be made with Cauliflower or fish(tilapia).

Directions:

Wash chicken and get all the water out with a paper towel.  Use a meat mallet and tenderize chicken, and cut into small pieces. Keep aside.

Marinate chicken for 0.5 – 3hrs or overnight in a ziploc bag with: ginger-garlic paste, green chili sauce (or green chili), soy sauce, korean hot sauce, red chili powder, Kashmiri Chili (for color), black pepper, Corn flour (3 tbsp), wheat flour (1 tbsp), Korean pancake mix (1 tbsp – Optional), MSG, Vinegar – 1tsp, and Salt.

Fry the marinated chicken in Canola/Vegetable Oil, and keep it aside. You can freeze this for later use as well.

Saute 1 med sized onion chopped fine in canola or vegetable oil till it is light brown.  Add 2 tbsp of Chopped Ginger/Garlic, and saute for a minute. Add  1 cup of Chopped green onion and saute again for a minute. Add all veggies listed above for sauce. Saute it for couple of minutes until the veggies softens. Add all ingredients listed in the sauce section above and let it boil for few minutes to get it all blend well. Mix 1 tspn of corn starch with water, and add to the sauce (helps to thicken sauce).  Add Fried chicken to the sauce and blend it well for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with sesame oil and cilantro (Optional).

Enjoy with rice, fried rice, chapati or nan…..

Simple Pulissery (Yogurt/Curd Curry)

Ingredients:

  1. Thick Yougurt (Curd) – 4 cups
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Fenugreek Powder – 1/8 tsp (Half of turmeric)
  5. Green Chilli – 1-2 (to your taste)
  6. Cumin seeds (powdered) –  1/4 tsp
  7. Fenugreek Seeds  – 10
  8. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Curry Leaf – 5-6
  10. Dry red chilli (Dried Cayenne Pepper) – 2  (cut in 2-3 pieces)
photo (11)

“Homemade Yogurt preferred.

If that is not available, buy pre-made from Indian store”

Preparation:

In a blender, mix/grind ingredients 1-6.

Heat up a pot, turn the flame to medium-high. Add 2-3 tsp of oil. Add fenugreek seeds. When it is golden, add mustard.  When mustard splutters, add dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves.

Switch off the stove, and take the pot out of the stove for some time  for it to cool down. (If you add yogurt mix  immediately when the pot is hot, the curd will start separating.)

Add yogurt mix from step 1 to the pot, bring it to the stove and switch on the stove in low heat. At this point, stay with the pot, and make sure the curd mixture just gets warm. Mix it in between so that it gets heated evenly. Switch it off when it is lukewarm, and keep it away from stove or any source of high heat. High heat can change the consistency of  curry. So, be careful as mentioned in this step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerala Fish roast

Ingredients
Fish – 1 pound (approx 1/2 kg)
(Thick flesh fish like King fish, Salmon etc are good for this recipe)

For marinating fish:-
Chilli Pwdr — 2 tsp or as reqd
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric pwdr – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – from 1/4 lime
(Mix all this together and if needed add little water to make a nice paste to marinate fish.)

For roast:
Onion – (Yellow or red) – 3 nos
Tomatoes (Roma preferred) – 4 nos
Chilli pwdr – 1/2 tsp or as reqd
Turmeric pwdr – 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies – 4 nos
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – 2 stems
Oil – As reqd for frying and sauteing

Preparation:
1)Clean and cut fish into 1 inch pieces.
2)Marinate it for atleast 30 mins outside or in refrigerator for 3 – 5 hrs.
3)Fry fish in oil. Keep it aside.
4)Saute minced ginger in 6 or 7 tbsp oil.
:- You can use remaining oil from frying fish. But don`t use that, if it is burnt/black etc. Also you can use the same pan used for frying fish.
5)Add more or reduce oil depending on your health restrictions.
6)Add onions to it.
7)When it is soft and golden yellow, add 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and saute again.
8)Add tomatoes, green chillly pieces and curry leaves and saute that until it turns to a nice roast mixture.
9)Add fried fish to it and mix slowly so that it won`t break.
:- If it looks dry and if you want, you can add more oil.
10)Mix everything well and cover it.
11)Cover and cook on low heat for some more time for 15 – 20 mins.
12)Mix in between and make sure it is not getting burnt and not sticking to the bottom of the pan so that the flavor of different ingrediants will blend together.
ENJOY!!!

Note: This is good with Chappathi, appam, rice etc.

Naadan Chicken Curry (With Eastern chicken curry masala)

Ingredients:
Chicken – 2 pounds
(
* Chicken with bones -or- whole chicken cut into small pieces will give the best taste.
* You can also use boneless chicken thighs. But remove all fat, skin etc if there is any.
* Chicken breast/tenderloin is easy, but wont give the best results.
But if you want to go with breast, tenderloin will give slightly better result than chicken breast
)
Chopped Ginger – 1 inch piece
Chopped Garlic – 7 large cloves
Curry Leaves – 15
Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tspn
(I make mine with Fennel seeds, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves. Ratio: 2 tsp fennel seeds; 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 5 cloves. You can make bigger quantity and store in air-tight container for months for later use)
Tomato – 1 (I use Roma tomatoes)
Onion (Yellow or Red) – 3 medium sized (size of cricket ball)
Green Chillies – 4 (change if you like it less/more spicy. I use Thai Hot green chilly)
Coriander powder – 3 tspn
Easter Chicken Curry Masala – 3 tspn
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tspn
Oil – 4 tspn

Preparation:
Clean and cut chicken into small pieces and keep aside.
Cut onions into thin 1 inch pieces. (You can use the `Slice1` method explained here: http://www.wikihow.com/Cut-an-Onion )
Slice Green chilly lengthwise into half.

– Heat a pan/vessel with 4 teaspoons of oil (Medium heat). When it is hot add chopped ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or less.
– Add onions to it before ginger/garlic become brown. Now add turmeric and salt. You can add salt for the whole curry considering chicken you will be adding later. Saute this in medium heat until it softens and becomes golden brown. This will take about 10-15 minutes. You can keep it covered after 5 minutes for 5 minutes to make the softening process easier. But open the lid and saute in between so that it wont get burnt. Also saute it without covering for last 5 minutes (more/less depending on how fast/slow it gets sauteed).
– Once onion is well done, and softens, reduces in size, add eastern chicken curry powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder. Saute this well (approx. 5-6 mts. Add bit more oil if it is so dry).
– Add chicken pieces, mix it well. Let it stay open for 5 minutes. Mix in between so that bottom wont get burned. Now add water to it and mix well. I usually keep a cup of water near and add little by little mixing in between. that will help me to stop when I see desired consistency. More water will come out of chicken when it is cooked. So, add water considering that too. After it starts boiling, keep it covered in low-medium heat. Let it get cooked for about 15 minutes. Mix it in between to avoid sticking to bottom of the vessel.
– Check a chicken piece with curry for salt, spiciness etc. If desired add some more of salt, eastern chicken masala etc
– Add tomatoes with salt for that (chopped into 1 cm pieces), and some more curry leaves and cook it covered for another 5 minutes or so.

Variations (sometime I do these variations):
v1) Add 1 cup of chopped methi leaves along with tomatoes, and cook until methi leaves blends in (5-10 mts)
v2) If I want a thick gravy, I wont add water, and work with water that comes out of chicken
v3) You can also make it dry by keeping it longer on stove and letting all water evaporates.

Naadan/Fusion fish curry (Fusion of two kerala fish curry recipes)

Chef’s note:

This is a fusion of two kerala style fish curries. I liked few things in both curries and wondered how it will be if I combine only the things I like. Here is the result, and I love it!!! I made it when our friend Siji came over, and he wanted the recipe. So, adding it here 🙂
Don’t have any pictures. Will add when I make this next time.

The two curries are:
1) Puliyum Mulakum curry: Courtesy to my mom. I think she learned it from her mother in law
2) Varutharacha Meen curry: Courtesy to my mom.
** One more courtesy to Mani chechi in Chattanooga. She shared a recipe which added Garlic to fish curry, and I liked the flavor. So, decided to include that as well

Ingredients:
1. Fish (Salmon, Pampano, King fish etc): 2 pounds (cut it into 1 inch pieces, and cleaned/washed/drained)
2. Scraped coconut (fresh, frozen, dried): 4 table spoons (not heaped)
[Fresh is best, frozen second best)
3. Chilli powder: 4 table spoons (not heaped)
4. coriander powder: 5 table spoons (not heaped)
5. turmeric powder: 1/2 tea spoon
6. finely chopped Garlic – 6-7 cloves
7. finely chopped Onion – 1/2 cup (red onion preferred)
8. Curry leaves – 18 leaves (3 stems)
9. finely chopped Green chilli – 4
10. finely chopped Ginger – 1 inch piece
11. Fenugreek seeds – 15 nos
12. Kokum (Kudam puli) – 4 pieces (wash well and soak it in 1/2 cup water)
13. Salt – as needed

Procedure:
1. In a pan, pour 1 table spoon of oil (olive/vegetable/coconut oil), and heat it. Once it is hot put the fenugreek seeds.
When seeds are brown (not burnt), add the coconut. Saute that until it is light brown and dry.
Add the chilli and coriander powder and saute it until it gets a darker brown color (this will be the color of the curry).
Saute frequently so that the mixture wont get burnt.
Just before taking it out the stove add turmeric powder and mix well. Let this cool down.

2. Grind this mixture with just enough water to grind it. Add water as necessary to grind it. Don’t make it too watery, as the curry will be too watery too
Keep this mixture aside

3. Now put the vessel/pan/pot in which you will be making fish curry (I like the clay pots (chatti) from kerala) on the stove in medium heat and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil.
Once it is heated add green chillies, onion ginger, garlic and curry leaves and saute for a minute until it becomes slight golden brown colour.

4. Now add the mixture from step 2.

5. Add the soaked Kokum(puli) also (you can add the water in which it was soaked. but dont use the bottom part of the water as it may have sand/dirt etc).

6. Add Salt and water. Water should make it the consistency you like in your fish curry. It is always good to keep it little less than your actual needed consitency, as water will come out of the fish when you add it and cook.

7. Once it starts boiling, add fish to it, and cover it. Once the whole thing starts boiling, simmer the stove and cook it for 20-30 minutes. (fish cooks pretty fast)

8. You can taste fish and curry and add salt, kokum or water if you need more. Cook it for some more time. Switch off the stove, keep it covered for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!!

Yummy Kerala Style Biriyani (My mom’s recipe)

BiriyaniIngredients for Rice:
Basmati rice – 2 cups (Soak rice in water for atleast an hour)
Cinnamon – 4 one inch pieces
Cloves – 6 nos
Cardamom – 4 nos
Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
Water – 3 cups
Ghee & Salt

 

Ingredients for marinating  chicken:-
Chicken – 3 lbs  (Cut the chicken into big pieces – 2 inches piece. Don’t need to cut chicken If you are using Chicken leg pieces. Just make some slits on the piece, so that masala will go in.
Chilly powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – A little
Black pepper – 1 tsp
Garlic-ginger-Green chilly-Cilantro-Mint Leaves paste – 3 tbsp  (you can make more, so that you can use rest for biriyani gravy too)
Masala powder – 1-2 tsp  (I make masala powder  from Fennel seeds-Cinnamon-Cardamom-Cloves- star Anise-Bay leaves)

Ingredients for Chicken gravy:-
Onion(big) – 3 nos (Sliced, Red onions preferred)
Chilly powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 3 tbsp
Masala powder – 2 tsp (same from above)
Garlic-ginger-Green chilly-Cilantro-Mint Leaves paste – 2 tbsp
Mint leaves(Pudhina) – 2 stems
Coriander leaves – 2 stems
Roma Tomato – 2-3 (quartered – one tomato in 4 pieces)
Oil- As required
Yogurt – 1/4 cup

Ingredients for Garnishing:
Ghee – As required for frying (I take like 1/2 inch high ghee on a small pan for frying this)
Thinly sliced Onions (red onions preferred) – from 1/2 – 1 onion
Cashews – 20 nos
Raisins – 20-30 nos
Mint leaves(Pudhina) – 3 stems
Coriander leaves – 3 stems

Fry the above garnish items one after other in the order listed above, and keep them aside separately. Onion should be added when ghee is very hot and make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Don’t overcrowd while frying onion. If you have more, do separate batches of frying. After frying onions, you can lower heat to medium. Raisins are done frying when they expand to form balls. Cashew just need to be slightly brown outside.

Note: If you want to reduce amount of ghee used, don’t do this step. Instead use cashews, raisins and leaves for garnishing, without frying in ghee.

Ingredients for Aroma and color:
Rose essence – 1 tsp
Yellow color powder – a pinch
Mix  Rose essence and  color powder, and keep it aside.

Preparation for pan frying Chicken and then making Biriyani Gravy:

Fry:
1)Mix together all the ingredients for marinating the chicken.
2)Marinate the chicken with the above paste for approximately an hour.(You can do/prep this previous night and refrigerate it)
3) Pan Fry this chicken in oil. Don’t fry the chicken pieces for long time. Otherwise, it will become very dry and hard. Just want the outside to be sealed and fried, inside may not be cooked well. But this will get more cooking time when we make gravy with chicken.  The purpose of doing this is to make the pieces little stronger so that it won’t split into small pieces while making curry.

Gravy:
1) Heat little oil or ghee or both together in a pan or a kadai (for cooking chicken with gravy).
2)Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for sometime. Before that starts browning, add onions and cut green chillies and and saute` well.
3)When it is sauted well and turns slightly brown, add chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder,  black pepper, masala powder and salt and saute again until it makes a nice soft mixture. (About 15mts)
4)Add fried chicken pieces to it. Mix gently without breaking chicken pieces. Cover and  cook in medium heat. So, all mixes well. This will take sometime (like 30mts or so in low medium heat, so that chicken and onion mix can blend well and create a thick biriyani gravy. All water should be gone, and result in a roasted style. It will loosen up when we add curd and tomato later.  You can save the time by cooking rice while this gravy is going on, as you don’t have much to do other than mixing and making sure chicken and gravy is not getting burnt or sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
9) When it is almost dry and roasted, Add yogurt and mix it well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
10)Add tomatoes, cover and cook. Make sure Tomato layers at the bottom, so that it cooks fast, and gets a roasted feel. You don’t have to blend tomato into the gravy much. It is nice to have pieces of roasted tomato to eat in biriyani. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add Cilantro and Mint leaves to this and mix in.
12) Mix in between. The gravy should be like a  roasted paste. It should not be too dry or watery.  Check salt and add more, if needed.

Preparation for Cooking Rice:

1)Soak rice in water and keep for an hour. Drain water from rice and keep it aside.
2)Heat 2 – 3 tbsp of ghee in a thick bottom vessel (for cooking rice).
3)Add 3 – 4 pieces of Fennel Seeds, cinnamon, Star Anise, cloves and cardamom and stir for a while. (Optional: nutmeg Pieces).
4) When spices gets roasted and a nice aroma comes, Add water. For 1 cup of rice, add 1.5 cups of water. Add Salt to the water for your taste, and allow it to boil.
5)Add the drained rice into it. Mix well, and cover and allow it to be cooked in medium high heat. Keep a close eye, when water starts disappearing, open lid, mix well, cover again, and turn heat to low.  Keep it covered and cook some more time (may be 5-8mts), so that water will disappear from bottom of the vessel too. Turn off the stove, and Don’t open the lid. Leave it covered for 20-30 mts. (it continues to cook while it stays  closed and warm)

For Baking Biriyani:-

For Oven Style:-
1)Take a big shallow oven safe dish. You can use Aluminum foil  trays too instead of flat dish. I usually use 9X13 inch thick baking dish (Glass, Ceramic etc). They are close to two inches high.
2)Coat it with ghee.
3)Put the chicken with gravy as a layer followed by a layer of  the rice. Usually for 2 inch dish you can have only one layer of chicken and rice.
4)Sprinkle few drops of Rose essence and color mix on top of the rice with a spoon carefully. Too much of this will give a very strong smell. So, be careful and drop only few spoons. You can use the same spoon to spread these drops across so the colors spreads bit more.
5)Sprinkle 1 tbsp of ghee on top of it, and spread it. Sprinkle the fried Mint and Cilantro. Sprinkle the fried cashews and raisins on top of it. Press the top layer down with a flat spoon so that the content is packed without much air inside. Cover tightly with an oven safe lid or aluminum foil.
Optional: You can add few slices of pineapple, and boiled eggs on top of the rice, before baking, if you like it.
6)Bake this in the centre of the oven at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes. If you are making more quantity, you can put that in multiple shallow dishes and bake in the oven at the same time.

For Stove top Style:-
Use a big wide vessel coated with ghee or butter to make biriyani. Make layer of chicken,  rice, color/essence, mix, ghee and garnish as described in the above step. You can make repeat the layer if needed. Press the top layer down with a flat spoon so that the content is packed without much air inside. Cover it with a lid and heat the filled vessel on a low flame for approximately 20 – 25 mins. Check the bottom of the vessel in between with a spoon or something to make sure it is not getting burnt. If it is getting burnt, reduce the heat.

For Serving:

Take portions vertically from the baked biriyani so that a serving plate will have both rice and chicken with masala. Accompaniments listed below:

– Biriyani goes well with with lime pickle, Yogurt raita or Sarlas (Vinegar and Red Onion Salad) and pappadam. Raita can be made with Red onions, tomato, green chillies(optional), curd and salt.  Sarlas – I make by mixing thin slices of red onion with, green chillies chopped, white vine vinegar to cover onions, and salt. Leave it mixed for atleast 20-30mts. Can be refrigerated too. I prefer Sarlas over raita for Biriyani. May be Mallu taste buds 🙂
– Use the same quantity of Mutton instead of chicken to make Mutton Biriyani with the same recipe.

ENJOY!!!!